An amp is the quantity of electrical current running through an electrical part at any given time. A multimeter is used to measure the amperage in any given electrical part.
It is always safe to measure the amount of current flowing through a given wire to be certain that the wire is not handling more than it is able to.
Amperage is about measuring the number of electrons through a particular place in a given period of time. One ampere is equivalent to one coulomb per second.
Steps on How to Check Amps with A Multimeter
Always Test Your Meter First
Your multimeter should read zero when the probe lead are touched together and when separated it should read one.
If not, you need to check the batteries.
Determine Your Amperage Rating for the Multimeter
Multimeters are rated differently because they are used to measure different measurements at the same time. Always make sure to check the rating, so that you avoid taking one with less room for a certain amount of current.
The amperage rating is printed on the unit. So, if you would want to run more currents, go for the ones with higher amperage. Don’t run 200 A on a 10 A multimeter; this will ruin the fuse.
Select the Appropriate Function on the Multimeter
Set the function to either measure AC or DC current depending on the source of power. Households have AC while power houses from the battery are DC.
Set the maximum sensitivity range on the multimeter. Make sure the range is above what you expect to get from checking your amps to prevent damaging your multimeter. If it does not read, adjust it downwards.
Plug the Leads into Appropriate Terminals
Start with the black lead and then the red lead. Connect the black lead to the COM slot while the pointed side to the mains.
Do the same to the red lead as described in the user manual for your multimeter. Clip back the leads to the circuit while touching the insulated part to take the appropriate precautions.
Turn Off the Breaker & Rewire the Circuit
Use the AC sense probe to confirm the current is off prior to rewiring the circuit while taking readings.
Safety Precautions When Checking for Amps Using a Multimeter
When dealing with electrical appliances, put on rubber shoes and rubber gloves to help insulate you in case you come into contact with a live wire.
As a result, it can help to avoid getting electrical shock. Always use an AC sense probe in your household to determine whether there is current before touching any wires.
Do not work around a wet surface since water is a good conductor of electricity and you might get hurt.
Always have someone close with a cell phone that is not touching to call in case of emergency. This person should be trained on first aid.
Electrical appliances are dangerous and might pose danger even with low voltages.
When checking for amps using multimeters, follow the above safety precautions or consult with a real electrical workbook or a professional.